I recently received the current issue of Hinduism Today, and it wasn’t until this gem arrived in the mail that I realized that I hadn’t yet made my way through the last issue. Tragedy! In all fairness, though, the last 3 months have literally been too much. So there.
As I began progressing through the last issue, anxious to dig into the newest one, I came upon some things that instantly caught my attention. The first is in the quotes section and comes from a Sri Lankan mystic of the founding lineage of those responsible for Hinduism Today magazine, Satguru Siva Yogaswami. He apparently once said, “Karma is movement in the mind. When the mind remains motionless there is no karma.” Sat! This instantly brought to mind bits of Patanjali’s Yoga Stura that I have studied – one in particular that details the stilling of the mind’s waves bringing peace and leading to moksha. My experience with the religion of Yoga so far has confirmed this and I love it. Much of Sahaj Marg is built on the foundation of the Yoga Sutras and it was nice to see another, well-established, parampara / sampradaya iterate the same.
The second thing that jumped out at me occurs later in the magazine (around page 40) in a section containing 14 “Daily Enlightenment Lessons.” The fifth of these lessons was the first to really stand out to me. It’s titled, “Superconscious Mind of Light” and like each of the other lessons in this part of the magazine it wraps up with a challenge for the reader to engage in so as to incorporate that lesson into daily life. The challenge for lesson five is to sit quietly in meditation, with a relaxed body and regulated breathing. We’re instructed to “…seek the light within your head. This light which lights your thoughts is the light of superconssciousness. Aum.”
I’m certain 99.9% of the readers glossed over that and kept plowing through the lessons and the rest of the publication. This caught me, though, because it’s strikingly similar to the meditative practice employed by the Sahaj Marg, only we focus on the heart instead of the head. Although there’s that one big difference between the two paths, I still think either of these methods (head or heart) is super beneficial.
Most of us have trouble thinking of stuff that isn’t obvious. It requires more work than we have interest investing into our labors. I’ve written before about how much of a disservice it is to be lazy in this way. It invariably spills over into other areas of life, bringing undesirable results.
The two practices mentioned above – the one from Sahaj Marg which is to see-but-not-see the sublte light in your heart and the one advised by the saiva Satguru which is to see the Light that lights your thoughts – are great, but they require “effortless effort” on the part of the seeker, which is the trickiest kind of effort. Think about it: We are familiar with our thoughts. We generally know what they feel like and with a little more attention we can even discern patterns in them. But what enables us to observe something so closely interwoven to how we function? There’s a Light, as if from some kind of often-overlooked backdrop, and It allows us to see our own thoughts and emotions – it lights them for us.
When we engage ourselves with that “backdrop” and become increasingly familiar with it, we begin the realization that This is our true self. This, in the Hindu religion, is known as Self Realization. And whether you approach your Self from the heart or the head, you can’t help but reach truth, your Self, and become that subtlest Light.
Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha